A reprieve from the heat helped cool the lakes a little, lake surface temps dropped from low to mid 80’s to the mid 70’s. Climbing again at this writing, but looks like it will cool again before a warm up this weekend.
Largemouth Bass: Very Good – Actively feeding in 8-12’ cabbage flats, anglers doing very well casting jig and creature, Wacky worms and Tokyo rigs into weeds. Morning and evening top-water action hot using Whopper Ploppers, Jitterbugs and Frogs. Nice sized Bass, up to 5#, being C&R this past weekend.
Smallmouth Bass: Very Good – Drop shotting 3” Gulp Alive Minnows and 3” Senkos best along outside cabbage and coontail edges along adjacent sandgrass flats (though today 7/13, found Smallies tucked into cabbage beds of 7-8’).
Bluegill: Very Good – Cast a small Mepps 00 to draw attention, then fish small leeches below floats in 6-8’ weeds. Poppers in the evenings, either on fly rods or using clear plastic floats on spinning equipment.
Crappie: Good – Setting up in mid-summer pattern of holding in upper portion of tall, narrow leaf cabbage in 8-14’. Cast small 2” twisters, beetle spins or jigs with tinsel quivered through tops of plants.
Yellow Perch: Good – Best around cribs and drowned wood. Use ½ crawlers or soft shell (frozen) crayfish. Some very nice fish in the 9-11” range being caught.
Walleye: Good – Very dependent on conditions, but on cloudy/windy days or early mornings fish weeds of 8-14’ using crawlers or the largest leeches you can find. Evenings good for a return to weeds. Anglers fishing deep humps using jigging Raps finding to harmful with high water temps, can’t safely release these fish. Best to stop this technique until waters cool.
Northern Pike: Good – Tickling the tops of weeds using chatter baits and spinner baits best. Cast weedless Jaw Breakers or Johnson Silver Minnows with a 4” Twister tails to try and stay weedless.
Musky: Good/Fair – Many anglers opting to forego Musky fishing due to high surface water temps and stress on these big fish. Be careful, quick and think about the safety of these fish.
SUPER SPECIAL BONUS REPORT:
Last week it was Dogfish (Bowfin) that was hot! They are fun to catch, eat mostly crayfish and deserve to be released!
This week - Bullheads. Flowages are giving up dandy bullheads on crawlers or minnows. Nothing wrong with these bottom dwellers, good fried and great smoked.
The high water temps throughout the upper Midwest has caused a shortage of leeches. Trappers report leeches stopped coming to traps, supplies limited and prices rising rapidly. This is about a full month earlier than usual. If you find some, grab ‘em and take care to keep cool and wash regularly. Despite the rumors, it’s NOT illegal to use leeches, just hard to get.